Often referred to as “the Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires features chic neighborhoods, world class museums and nonstop shopping. With French, Spanish and Italian influences and a distinct European feel, the capital of Argentina is diverse and cosmopolitan, while retaining a fair amount of old world charm.
How to Get to Buenos Aires
Your ship will dock at the pier about a half-mile from the center of Buenos Aires. Complimentary shuttle buses may be available to take you into town. Otherwise, taxis are plentiful and many offer set prices to certain neighborhoods. Walking from the port into the center of the city is not recommended.
One Day in Buenos Aires
Start your day in El Centro, the cultural, historical and financial center of Buenos Aires. Ask your taxi to drop you off at the Plaza de Mayo. There, check out the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral and catch a glimpse of the Casa Rosado, where Eva Peron addressed Argentinian crowds from the balcony. Then, make your way on foot along the pedestrian shopping street, Calle Florida, to the Plaza San Martin. From there, head north to the upscale Recoleta neighborhood, where you can spend the rest of your morning.
The prime attraction in Recoleta is the Recoleta Cemetery, the burial place for the city’s aristocracy since 1822. Covering four square blocks, it is lined with elaborately designed tombs and mausoleums, and is the final resting place for Eva Peron. If you are visiting on a weekend, your next stop should be the nearby Plaza Independiente Alvear, home to a lively crafts and souvenir market. If not, take some time to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the largest museum in the country, or take in some of the art galleries throughout the neighborhood.
By now, you may be so hungry you could eat a steak - and you should, since Argentina has some of the best! If you won’t have time to enjoy dinner in the city, take a break at lunch to enjoy both a glass of Argentina’s fine wine and a nice steak. Whether you hang around Recoleta or return to Calle Florida, you’ll find plenty of restaurants to choose from.
After lunch, grab a taxi or retrace your steps along Calle Florida to Plaza de Mayo, and then make your way to the working class neighborhood of La Boca. In La Boca, you’ll discover a colorful artists’ quarter where the tango was born. Wander around the cobbled streets before heading to El Caminito, a pedestrian marketplace for craftsmen where you may also catch couples dancing the tango.
Alternatively, you may want to spend your afternoon exploring some of Buenos Aires’ fine museums, including the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires and the National History Museum. Opera fans may also want to take a guided tour of the Colon Theater, one of the most lavish opera houses in the world.
Don’t forget to grab a few souvenirs before heading back to your ship – leather goods, wine, gems and handicrafts are all excellent options.
The official language is a form of Spanish known as Castellano, but English is generally spoken in hotels and shops. The currency is the Argentinian peso, but you may be able to use US dollars in some instances. ATM's can be found throughout the city and credit cards are widely accepted.